Special Report

Special Report

Save Our Man-Eaters!

By 1.21.14

Mawkish anti-human irrationality has a victory over common sense in Western Australia this week. Following a spate of shark attacks and fatalities in the ocean off WA — seven fatalities in the last three years — the state government announced plans to reduce their numbers by having professional fishermen catch and kill the largest and most dangerous sharks, in particular the great whites.

Inevitably, some non-dangerous sharks and other sea-creatures can look to be caught as well, but the targets of the cull are sharks over 9 feet long, including great whites, tigers, grey nurses and hammerheads — all man-eaters. Since these sharks eat far more other sea-creatures than they eat humans, the plan could actually be expected to benefit more turtles, dolphins and other fish than the number that might be accidently caught.

One fatality occurred just as a nearby restaurant was advertising a “gourmet experience,” a tragedy which led to some particularly offensive (I nearly said tasteless) jokes on the local media.

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Special Report

The Trump Revolution

By 1.16.14

The Reagan Revolution.

And now… the Trump Revolution?

Although he doesn’t put it that way, Ron Fournier is concerned.

So, incredibly, is New York GOP chairman Ed Cox.

But we will begin with Ron Fournier.

In this article over at his National Journal perch, longtime liberal journalist Fournier asks with trepidation:

President Trump? Stranger Things Might Happen
Political, social forces make the 2016 presidential race unpredictably interesting.

After spending his column recalling how far off the radar Barack Obama was in the lead-up to the 2008 election, when everyone who was anyone just knew Hillary had the nomination wrapped up for the Democrats and that Rudy Giuliani was in the lead for the GOP, Fournier shivers: 

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Special Report

Net Neutrality Neutered

By 1.14.14

In a victory for the future of the Internet and for property rights, on Tuesday the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned — we should all hope permanently — the heart of the Federal Communication Commission’s so-called “Net Neutrality” rules.

Net Neutrality, as with so many leftist proposals, is Orwellian in name: it represents little more than the theft of property rights of companies that have invested billions of dollars in Internet infrastructure.

It is “neutral” in the sense that the regulations would force providers of Internet bandwidth to treat all content providers the same way. That is no more reasonable than saying that a stadium can’t sell better seats for higher prices or limit access to the Club level or tell you that you can’t bring in your own beer. It is “neutral” in the same way that Chairman Mao was “neutral” about private property.

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Special Report

Golden Globetacular

By 1.13.14

The Golden Globes is the notorious kickoff to Hollywood’s “awards season” during which rich people gather in large well-appointed rooms to drink expensive champagne and give each other tokens of their undying admiration, which they will all discuss at cocktail parties you’ll never be invited to. And as Americans, we like it that way, especially when, as at the Golden Globes, those same people are encouraged to drink heavily during the broadcast.

This year’s Globes began, as they often do, with a river of sludge winding its way slowly down a plush red carpet into the Beverly Hilton. That was, of course, cleaned up quickly, and a separate river of sludge was able to, once again, continue unimpeded into the hotel’s ballroom, as E! Online rolled B-roll footage and regaled the early audience with “fun facts” about the celebrities they were seeing, like that one time that Michael J. Fox was hilariously diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

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Special Report

Immoral and Inefficient

By 1.13.14

Democratic politicians are desperate to make up for Obamacare’s disastrous roll-out. Thirteen states are increasing their minimums this year, and some Democrats believe raising the national minimum wage is a winning campaign issue for November.

It’s hard to predict the impact of new wage proposals on elections ten months hence, though polls suggest that two-thirds or more of Americans back an increase. But there’s no doubt that raising the minimum wage would reduce employment and slow economic growth. Worse, government wage-setting is immoral. It simply is unfair and wrong for politicians to posture as philanthropists while arbitrarily forcing other people to pay higher salaries.

Most of the debate over the minimum wage is practical. What is its impact on employment and price levels? And the answer is clear: the cost of higher wages will be borne in varying degrees by customers, workers, and investors. Exactly who loses how much will depend on conditions in the particular industry.

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Down and Out in Benghazi

By 1.9.14

It is time to present the top prize for fraudulence in international reporting in 2013 — the annual Walter Duranty award. As Moscow bureau chief for the New York Times at the height of Joe Stalin’s reign of terror, Duranty not only reported the news, he invented it — earning the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and wining the sobriquet of “Stalin’s apologist.”

In the midst of a famine that caused millions of peasants to starve to death, he told American readers that Soviet granaries “were overflowing with grain” and that the cows were “plump and contented.” As Stalin’s favorite Western reporter, Duranty tooled around Moscow in a chauffeur-driven limousine and enjoyed the company of a succession of Russian mistresses. He was a key figure in persuading the Roosevelt administration to grant official recognition to the Soviet Union in 1933.

Now, once again, it is time for the editors and staff at the New York Times to start uncorking the champagne bottles.

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Special Report

Democrat Eyes on North Carolina

By 1.8.14

Since the Left, and the Democrats beholden to them, lost their grip on total power in North Carolina’s General Assembly in 2010, followed by Gov. Pat McCrory’s victory in 2012, they have largely attributed their political exile to the spending of wealthy conservative entrepreneur Art Pope.

Longtime PBS mouthpiece Bill Moyers amplified the charge in a one-hour program that aired over the weekend. He had no interest in the Tar Heel state during his 40-plus years in journalism, when Democrats overwhelmingly controlled the power, but now he thinks Republicans in charge for two years is a big deal.

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Our Political Climate

By 1.7.14

Rob Lyons put it best: In claiming that climate change is “the greatest challenge of our time,” global warming alarmists and the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have “delivered, it seems, with brass balls, (a message) that the science is settled, the debate is over, and everything must come second to tackling global warming.”

On a global scale, one would think that alleviating poverty, a lack of fresh drinking water, and the continued existence of terrible diseases (such as polio, malaria, and radical Islam) in many parts of the world would be more important than climate worries. After all, the fact that "climate changes" is an unsurprising truism, and a fact humans have adapted to throughout our existence.

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Singalong Junk

By 1.3.14

Paul McCartney, an entertainer whose artistic peak occurred several years before my birth, earned more money from touring in 2013 than any other performer. The $106 million that Beatle Paul grossed from his traveling act more than quadrupled the amount taken in by the nearest competitor (Kanye West).

When Frank Sinatra hit #1 in 1966 during The Beatles’ heyday, it struck the era’s pop stars as a bizarre anachronism. “Stranger things have happened,” a bemused Mick Jagger offered. Yet, Sinatra was but fifty years young when he claimed the top spot on both sides of the Atlantic with “Strangers in the Night.” Touring juggernaut McCartney now sings “When I’m Sixty Four” as nostalgia trip instead of glimpse into the distant future.

Mick Jagger continued in the same interview to lament international concert tours and the prospect of old age. “I’m dreading it,” he confessed. “There are only very few old people who are happy. When their minds stop thinking about the present and stay wrapped up in the past, they are awfully dull.”

America has become awfully dull.

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Looking Ahead

By 1.2.14

The year 2013 was a remarkable one, with international affairs, American domestic politics, and our economy harmed by the most incompetent and ideological American administration in modern memory — and perhaps in our history. It takes a special man to make Jimmy Carter look good, but President Obama is doing his best.

As we enter 2014, here are a few forecasts, despite Neils Bohr’s warning that “prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” Please don’t remind me of these a year from now as my first prediction is that most of these predictions will not come true.

The Economy
The U.S. GDP will grow by 3.2 percent in 2014, less than it should in a recovery from a severe downturn but more than one would expect given the assault on free enterprise that will continue to emanate from the Obama administration.

The S&P 500, after a 30 percent gain in 2013, will be up 9 percent in 2014 despite an increase in long-term interest rates, with the 10-year note ending the year at 3.7 percent.

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